Knight Hunters Eternity Vol. #2 (of 3) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, October 21, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2004
What They Say
The source of the evil within Kowa Acaedemy has been revealed to be the international organization Esset. But to the good men of Weiss, this brings more questions than answers. Yoji investigates this evil, only to uncover a painful new choice.
In exchange for his loyalty to Esset, they will erase all of his painful memories. Omi forsees a dangerous future for Yoji and the others if this happens, and forces him to call off the mission. But Ken, Yoji, Aya and Sena all refuse to retreat!
With more angst than any X-Men comic book, Knight Hunters Eternity characters drive stakes in their own hearts in their fight against this larger evil.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series is a fairly standard stereo mix that's not unexpected for the shows content. The music itself is one of the areas that plays around with directionality and is pretty well done though the opening song will confuse some people at first since it sounds like the audio is dropping out. Dialogue throughout on both languages sounds good and has some noticeable areas of directionality but most of the dialogue feels full in general.
Originally airing in 2002, the transfer for this TV series looks good in general but suffers from a few areas where you can see some shortcuts in the animation itself. The transfer does a good job and has some solid source materials. In a way, the show often looks and feels like a number of recent hentai shows in that there are a lot of stills and panning shots (which means some aliasing in areas) combined with a bright color palette for the character animation that gives them a feel of not being entirely connected to the backgrounds. There's some good detail when it comes to the lead characters but most of the secondary characters tend to be a bit more generic and cleaner in general.
Showing off the pretty boy character designs that are key to this shows success, the cover is done from a sideways angle with Ken and Yoji in their full dress uniforms providing just the right kind of smiles next to the gothic style logo. The logo is nicely done with the English version combined with the original series name as a subtitle. The back cover is done in the standard direction with a cross background that h as a good collage of images throughout it. There's a single small paragraph that goes into the shows premise and a rundown of the discs features and production information. Media Blasters continues to score points with their technical grid along the bottom. The insert combines various elements from the cover and provides a rundown of the chapter listings for the five episodes on this volume.
The main menu uses the cover artwork as the static image set to music from the show with the selections lined down along the right. It's an attractive enough menu and simply done with an easy to navigate menu with fast access times. Unfortunately the disc doesn't go by the players default settings and starts with English only; it doesn't even automatically start with the signs/songs subtitle track active either as a default to go with the English dialogue.
The extras are good with this release with a textless opening and a few minutes of dub outtakes being included. The outtakes ranged from no reaction to some rather amusing ones and overall are still something I enjoy checking out. In addition to that, there's a voice actor radio theater kind of piece here where the four leads are at a table talking about all sorts of things about themselves with cameras specific for them. It's interesting to watch them goof off and joke with each other, particularly the way that one of them really did look like a new commentator with his outfit, mannerisms and overall look. This is one of those extras that the hardcore fans will just adore since they get to see the actors just being human and revealing things about themselves.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first volume of this series, which was our first actual exposure to the franchise, gave us an angsty show that was filled with a lot of blood and violence in a school setting where some organization is creating super-powered and hyper-intelligent students that they can control and manipulate and send into the world, presumably allowing them to achieve high levels in governments and other institutions that will lead to controlling everything on some grand level.
The second volume has our defenders of justice getting deeper into the school system to try and figure out where the real strings are being pulled. There's a slightly extended sequence in the opening episode where we find out what Yoji and Ken have been up to in one of the European schools where they've learned some interesting information and found another Z Class to deal with. Yoji in particular gets to shine this volume with his angst factor as he's still reeling from all the killing and lying he does in general in the pursuit of Justice but he's continually reflecting on and talking to the women in his past that have died because of him in various ways. When he returns to Kowa Academy to help out there, it's little surprise that he's an art history teacher and that his angsty style gets him the girls.
The girl this time being Ms. Tsuji, one of the administrative teachers at the Academy. Yoji's definitely a slick one with the women (as is Aya in the way he manages to attract the cute and innocent) and it doesn't take long before he's bedded her and started to really get her to trust him with things. She's deeper in things than one would expect after the way there seemed to be a purge of those involved after the first volume as the Academy has most definitely changed for the better since then, but it makes sense that some powerful links may still stay there. She goes through some amusing changes to accommodate what Yoji's attempting to do to her, such as not wearing her glasses and the way she hits the sheets with him as quickly as she does.
There's a fair amount of dissent within the Weiss this time around as well. Ken's still upset about how easy Sena's gotten off after the death of Kyo in the last volume as his punishment is essentially commuted and he's given a weapon but told to lay low inside the Academy. Aya's seeming like he's looking to decide whether he's had enough of this life or not and he's given time to lay low as well since he's on the school grounds pretty regularly. As the shift of focus goes to finding out more about the Esettz and Epitaph, they decide that it's time to figure out who the Director of the Academy is and their role in all of this. It's laid out pretty easily just who it is and it's an amusing if very highly predictable turn of events but it fits in with the charm of this kind of show.
The scale of what the group is after is raised up a bit this time around as we get a feel for some of the international schools and their overarching goals. Their bound determination to do what they're doing is a nice contrast to the fractured way that the Weiss seem to be facing this time around with a near breakdown is almost in order. There's more investigation going on in these episodes in general but they're relatively well book-ended by some good action sequences. The opening on with Yoji sets the stage for his angst filled performance while the end run set of action provides a glimpse at just how powerful these Z Class students can actually be, both in mentally and physically.
There's a certain awkwardness in the way the stories here are told that's not easy to get past since there's a bit of leaping here and there that doesn't make too much sense at times. The angst portion tends to be problematic in a way since, at least for me, the character familiarity isn't there so it's more of a thing where you're just watching it happen as opposed to being involved in it. Yoji's an amusing character to me due to his Weiss outfit; I can't take someone in that hat and jacket seriously, but he plays up the art history teacher role well with the exception of actually being able to score with the hot chick. Knight Hunters Eternity hasn't come across as a bad show but just a weak one with some awkward storytelling. There are pieces to it that I like and pieces that I don't.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Closing,Outtakes,Japanese Voice Actor Interviews
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Media Blasters
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Knight Hunters